My top 10 of 2012… This was actually a hard list to put together this year, as there were truly only a few outstanding titles to name, but, after much scrutiny, I believe my list is as follows, here is My top 10 of 2012.
NUMBER 10: Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Like Burnout Paradise, Criterion has delivered another racing gem with this one. The car models feel real and are a lot of fun to race. While the single player campaign is a bit on the small side, the real fun comes in racing around with friends. Just watch out for those god damned spike strips!
NUMBER 9: WWE 13
Normally, I wouldn’t consider THQ & Yuke’s yearly iteration of the longstanding Smackdown franchise as a GOTY candidate, but this year they have outdone themselves by way of the “Attitude Era” mode. For those of you who long to re-live the Monday Night Wars (at least from the WWE’s point of view), this title is for you, and makes it into the top 10 this year on nostalgia alone.
NUMBER 8: Rock Band Blitz
Speaking of nostalgia, I longed for the days of playing Rock Band with my friends, but no one wants to pick up plastic instruments and jam anymore. Luckily, Harmonix found a solution this summer with the release of Rock Band Blitz, which lets me use my entire back catalog of downloaded rockband titles in a bit of a fresh take on some of their earlier titles, Frequency or Amplitude. The game is fun, and reconnecting with my rb song collection gives this a nod in the top 10 this year. This is also my favorite PSN title of 2012.
NUMBER 7: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
I have a love-hate relationship with fighting games. I love to play them, they hate me with a passion because I sort of suck at pulling off combos. Enter Sony Smash Brothers and the playing field is leveled out a bit. This game can get INSANE with the amount of stuff going on the screen at any given time, from having to answer Buzz questions while fighting 3 other players to avoiding heat-seeking missiles and Hot Shot golf balls, I have not had more fun with a fighting game this year.
NUMBER 6: Binary Domain
Oh, how I wanted this title to do well. Overshadowed by the release of SSX & Mass Effect, the timing was off for this game, and unfortunately so were a few of the game mechanics, like sending orders to your npc squad mates via a bluetooth headset, my god did that not work right, ever. That being said, for a new and fresh IP, this was quite satisfying, and if you don’t love shooting deadly robots to pieces, you have no soul.
NUMBER 5: Madden 13
Another surprise for me this year was EA Sports annual Madden NFL game, Madden 13. This year EA Sports really outdid themselves with realism, I loved jumping in and out of careers from being a player to being a coach in charge of a whole team, and online league play was a hell of a lot of fun as well.
NUMBER 4: Spec Ops: The Line
For those who read my review on this game earlier this year, you know how much I enjoyed it. The ending was a major twist, but I continue to stand by my statement, 4/5, this game was fun as hell to play. Sure it wasn’t anything groundbreaking, and the twist left some with a bad taste in their mouths, but I still highly recommend it, and it just missed cracking the top 3 by nearly a flip of the coin.
NUMBER 3: Persona 4: The Golden
Not that it’s much of a shock, but a Persona title has cracked my top 3 again this year, as almost every game in the series has done every year there’s been a “new” game to play since 1996. I say “new” in quotes, because yes, this is a remastering of the fantastic 2008 PlayStation 2 title, but Atlus has added a ton of new content to the game, new social links, cut scenes, personas, areas to explore, events, and more. Definitely worth a pickup, and the ONLY reason to buy a PlayStation Vita in 2012.
Number 2: Sleeping Dogs
Without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest surprise in gaming for me this year, was the game that refused to die, Sleeping Dogs. On the abandonware list for a bit of time, this title was picked up by Activision to put under its True Crime series, and thankfully, when Activision merged with Blizzard, they cut this title. Square Enix picked it up, let United Front Games bring it back to the original IP it was meant to be and put a new name on it. I say thankfully, because historically the True Crime series was not very good, and this game is AMAZING. I almost made this my Number 1 game of the year, and I consider this my “Alpha Protocol” title of the year. I say this, because I loved Alpha Protocol, but just like that title, this one comes with a lot of “this is buggy” complaints, but I really didn’t find any bugs that hindered my enjoyment of the game. I will say that the shooting could’ve used a little work. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much fun hand-t0-hand combat was, a sort of mix of the Yakuza & Batman Arkham series’ it plays really well, and interacting with the environment mid-battle is a hell of a lot of fun. Go pick this up if you haven’t yet, because you probably already own my Number 1.
WAIT FOR IT…
NUMBER 1: Mass Effect 3
I know, you hate this choice. Perhaps as Harbinger states, “This hurts you.” You might’ve loved the ending, you probably hated the ending. I hated the ending, many of us did. Many of us were up in arms about how bad it was, and what the fuck were they thinking and what did it all mean. I definitely was one of those who was pissed, but taking a step back from all of that, and with the addition of the “Extended Cut” scenes Bioware added to help flesh out the ending a little, I have concluded this is my favorite title of 2012. I have spent more hours in the Mass Effect universe this generation than any other, and it is one of the greatest trilogies in all of storytelling. This is OUR Star Wars. Sure, it didn’t have a happy feel good ending with a bunch of Muppets, but did we really need that to consider this game good? We resolved so many “side stories” during the game, from the Genophage to the Geth-Quarian conflict, and most importantly, in one way or another, you did end the reaper threat. Hell, you even got to shoot the “star child” and damn the universe if you wanted. I love Mass Effect 3, and the one shortcoming does not detract from the fact that this one issue in the final chapter does not take away from the entire story as much as we initially thought it did.
What were your top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? What games are you looking forward to in 2013? Hell, what will my top 10 be for 2013? Only time will tell.
A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.
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